Facebook Ireland sued over alleged non-payment for ads

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12 July 2021

Facebook Ireland is being sued for $2.5 million (€2.1 million) by a Cyprus-registered developer and publisher of internet gaming applications over alleged non-payment for advertisements placed within games.

AppQuantum Publishing Ltd claims Facebook has failed to pay bills for the months of February to April last under a self-billing arrangement in what is called an “Audience Network” service whereby adverts are placed on mobile applications through which publishers can earn revenue.

The case was entered, on consent of the parties, into the High Court’s fast-track commercial division on Monday by Mr Justice David Barniville.

In its proceedings, AppQuantum said the arrangement with Facebook began in May last year and monthly sums were paid in accordance with the terms of service with the internet social media giant. AppQuantum then paid third-party developers whose games it was responsible for publishing and/or managing.

However, last February and March, Facebook failed to pay sums due, AppQuantum said.

Suspension

AppQuantum said on April 15th last, lawyers for Facebook Ireland and for its US parent, Facebook Inc, notified AppQuantum it was being suspended from the social media platform due to the activity of an unrelated Hong Kong-based company, Social Data Trading Ltd. It was alleged this unrelated company was violating Facebook’s terms of service.

AppQuantum said it has presented evidence to Facebook that it (AppQuantum) is unrelated to Social Data Trading. Efforts to have the suspension lifted are ongoing but in the meantime no Facebook ads have been placed on the games, AppQuantum said.

AppQuantum’s solicitor said in an affidavit seeking admission of the case to the commercial list that Facebook apparently intends to contest jurisdiction in this case which will delay its efforts to recover the money. AppQuantum is anxious that the proceedings, and any issue in relation to jurisdiction, be progressed as swiftly as possible, he said.

The company said it is now owed $2.5 million and is to bring an application next week in the Commercial Court seeking summary judgment for that amount.

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